LDAP Duplication/Replication/Update Protocols

Document Charter LDAP Duplication/Replication/Update Protocols WG (ldup) Snapshot
Title LDAP Duplication/Replication/Update Protocols
Last updated 2004-04-22
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter Edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


As LDAPv3 becomes more widely deployed, replication of data
across servers running different implementations becomes an
important part of providing a distributed directory service.
However, the LDAPv3 community, to date, has focused on
standardizing the client-server access protocol. This group
was originally chartered to standardize master-slave and
multi-master LDAPv3 replication as defined below:

o Multi-Master Replication - A replication model where
       entries can be written and updated on any of several
       replica copies, without requiring communication with
       other masters before the write or update is performed.

o Master-Slave, or Single-Master Replication - A replication
       model that assumes only one server, the master, allows
       write access to the replicated data. Note that
       Master-Slave replication can be considered a proper
       subset of multi-master replication.

Recently, the WG established consensus on a change of
direction to pursue publication of a standards track
protocol for LDAPv3 client synchronization, an experimental
LDAPv3 replication protocol, and supporting informational
documents. Thus the new work program is largely the same
as the original work program with one notable exception,
the LDAPv3 replication protocol is intended to be an
experimental rather than a standards track protocol.

The WG's approach was to first develop a set of requirements
for LDAPv3 directory replication and write an applicability
statement defining scenarios on which replication requirements
are based. An engineering team was formed consisting of different
vendors and the co-chairs in order to harmonize the existing
approaches into a single standard approach. All of these have
been accomplished during the pre-working group stage. It should
be noted, however, that replication using heterogeneous servers
is dependent on resolving access control issues, which were
the domain of other working groups. Because the responsible
WG failed to achieve consensus on a standard access control
model for LDAPv3, the LDUP WG formed a design team to explore
the issue of how to address the lack of such a model
in the context of LDAPv3 replication. This design team made
recommendations to the working group. The working group
considered these recommendations and consensus was
established on addressing these recommendations in
the context of revising other working group deliverables
rather than adding new deliverables specific to access
control for replication. Largely because of the lack of
a standard access control model for LDAPv3, the working
group also established consensus on pursuing an experimental
or informational publication path for a majority of working
group documents formerly intended to become proposed standards.

The new replication architecture supports all forms of
replication mentioned above. Seven areas of working group
focus have been identified through LDUP Engineering Team
discussions, each leading to one or more documents to be

o LDAPv3 Replication Architecture

         This documents a general-purpose LDAPv3 replication
         architecture, defines key components of this architecture,
         describes how these key components functionally behave,
         and describes how these components interact with each
         other when in various modes of operation

o LDAPv3 Replication Information Model

         Defines the schema and semantics of information used to
         operate, administer, maintain, and provision replication
         between LDAPv3 servers. Specifically, this document will
         contain common schema specifications intended to
         facilitate interoperable implementations with respect to:

               + replication agreements

               + consistency models

               + replication topologies

               + managing deleted objects and their states

               + administration and management

o LDAPv3 Replication Information Transport Protocol

         LDAPv3 extended operation and control specifications
         required to allow LDAPv3 to be used as the transport
         protocol for information being replicated

o LDAPv3 Replica Management

         Specifications designed to support administration,
         maintenance, and provisioning of replicas and
         replication agreements. These specifications may
         take the form of definitions for LDAPv3 extended
         operations, controls, and/or new schema elements.

o LDAPv3 Update Reconciliation Procedures

         Procedures for detection and resolution of conflicts
         between the state of multiple replicas that contain
         information from the same unit of replication.

o A General Usage Profile of the LDAPv3 Replication Architecture,
       Information Model, Protocol Extensions, and Update 

o LDAPv3 Client Update

         A protocol that enables an LDAP client to
         synchronize with the content of a directory
         information tree (DIT) stored by an LDAP server
         and to be notified about the changes to that

The work being done in the LDUP WG should be coordinated
to the closest extent possible with similar work being done
in the ITU. This is necessary both because LDAP depends
on X.500 and because it makes sense from an operational